Thursday, September 9, 2010
The moment I started the workshop was the first moment I met the two PhD's in pyschology in charge of this program. We had no previous discussions about what I would do or how creative writing could be of use to these women.
I did an exercise where I had each woman summon, if they could, the emotion of happiness into their body. I then had them tie the emotion to an incident of happiness. I had them visualize where they were, what the place looked like, and who was with them. After, that, I had them write the incident.
Emotions got really stirred up. Some wrote about happiness. But some wrote where the happiness moved on to anger. Some real fire was released!
Afterwards, the two PhD's told me they thought writing was entertainment and I would provide the group with a little rest moment in their therapy. Despite core curriculums in universities, I am amazed at the ignorance of other fields of study among the supposedly educated. I had a friend who lived on Faulkner street who was a PhD and did not know who William Faulkner was.
Much more pre-preparation goes into creative writing workshops in unusual settings these days. I worked in women's and men's prisons teaching creative writing workshops cold. I just showed up the days I was supposed to and did my thing.